But What Does My Personality Have to Do With How Well I Do My Job?

by | Mar 15, 2011 | Assessments, Blog, Performance Management

  • Amy Letke

    Amy Newbanks Letke, SPHR, GPHR, is the Founder of Integrity HR, Inc. Amy provides workplace solutions to improve performance, reduce liability and increase profits. She is passionate about helping other entrepreneurs and business owners achieve success. Contact us for more insights - 502-753-0970 or info@integrityhr.com

We had great success with this month’s webinar discussing the advantages of using assessments to help organizations hire the best employees.

If you missed it, we’re sorry you weren’t able to participate with the nearly 100 attendees we had on hand, but we will have those materials available on the website soon enough for your viewing pleasure, so no worries there.

Last week’s blog article discussed the topic of using assessments to “hire for attitude”. One reader posted the following comment that we thought was a very educated and good question many may have, so we thought we’d answer in the form of a blog post.

Reader Question:

“Are you saying that people who just don’t fit in personality wise are bad hires? I’m not sure I understand that at all…personality really shouldn’t fit into whether a person is suited for a position in my opinion. Unless, of course, someone not good with people is put in a customer service role. THAT I can see…”

Our Answer:

This person provided an excellent example of just why someone might not fit into a particular role, and I’d like to further elaborate on their point to clarify the meaning of “personality” in terms of assessment jargon.

(On a side note before I do that, we do have Customer Service and Sales specific assessments that will help to determine whether or not an individual is suited to the social demands of a sales position and can muster up just about anything else you can think of.)

Now before we come out and say personality is all telling, let’s make sure we understand what is meant by “personality.”

We are not saying that people who don’t fit in necessarily make bad hires. We are saying that they need to fit in to the right spots. So let me apologize for not properly defining what we mean when we address personality when we discuss assessments.

“Personality” and Assessments

We toss the word “personality” around a lot when talking about assessments, but what we are truly discussing is psychometrics, or the branch of psychology which deals with the measurement of mental traits, capacities and processes, which has been proven time and time again to be extremely correlated with job performance towards specifc roles.

We more commonly and typically refer to these measurements as “personality” traits, which is why there is some general confusion about this in the industry.

In social settings, we refer to someone as having a good personality if they are sociable and easy to get along with. In psychometrics, however, we are actually measuring many different traits to predict potential job performance such as:

  • Teamwork
  • Outgoingness
  • Ambition
  • Persistence
  • Energy Level
  • Attention to Detail
  • Leadership
  • Tendency to Follow Rules
  • Innovation
  • Creativity
  • Analytical Thinking
  • Reasoning Skills
  • Verbal Skills
  • Stress Tolerance
  • Self Control
  • Emotional Resiliance
  • Initiative
  • Flexibility
  • Time Management

The list goes on…

Like the last article about hiring for attitude stated, these traits which are organized to form “models” for particular positions are great predictors of how a particular person may perform in a particular role.

The important thing to remember here is that assessments aren’t designed to determine “personality” as we think of it in its normal context, like who is going to be more of a hit at the company picnic, for example.

Assessments are designed to determine who will do the best work in the job they are hired to do based on how well they fit into the traits of a specific type of position (as our reader pointed out with the Customer Service example above), and who will get the most satisfaction from a job well done.

After all, we all know internal satisfaction is one of the biggest motivating factors a person can possess.

We hope this helps clear up that assessments can uncover a lot more about a person than is generally known.


Article written by Paula Agee, SPHR

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